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Science, art, and history converge at Salk


Donors, colleagues, friends and scientists gathered at the Salk in April to experience art, history and science at a series of memorable celebrations. The festivities commenced on April 14 with the dramatic unveiling of the Donor Honor Wall, a series of stainless steel plaques adorning the concrete at the entrance to the Institute. Each panel is engraved with the names of benefactors whose extraordinary generosity has provided critical funding to further the groundbreaking scientific research at the Institute.

The evening's celebration continued with the spectacular unveiling of The Sun, a soaring 9-foot glass sculpture by world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly that was given to the Institute by Irwin Jacobs, chairman of the Salk board of trustees, and his wife, Joan Klein Jacobs. The Jacobses commissioned the art installation after experiencing the dramatic response the internal and external communities had to the 2010 Chihuly at the Salk exhibit.

From left: Chris Fletcher, Sarah Thomas and Irwin Jacobs

The grand finale, which took place April 17, was a rare opportunity for more than 600 Salk staff, faculty, supporters, neighbors and friends to examine an original 1217 engrossment of the Magna Carta, considered one of the most significant legal documents in the history of democracy, which was on display in the Frederic de Hoffman Auditorium. Arranged for viewing at the Salk by Irwin Jacobs, it was one of four original engrossments belonging to the Bodleian Library from the University of Oxford and marked the first West Coast visit of the celebrated Great Charter. A panel of experts presented a fascinating lecture and offered a wealth of insights about the landmark manuscript, which remains an important symbol of freedom and the rule of law.